Robert Eisele’s screenplay, THE GREAT DEBATERS (from a story by Eisele & his friend, Jeffrey Porro), was directed by Denzel Washington.  The film, starring Academy Award winners Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker, garnered a 2008 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD NOMINATION for Best Picture, and won 4 NAACP IMAGE AWARDS, including Best Picture.  Eisele’s script won the Writers Guild of America’s PAUL SELVIN AWARD, THE CHRISTOPHER AWARD, and received an IMAGE AWARD nomination for Best Screenplay.  The movie also won the Producers Guild of America’s STANLEY KRAMER AWARD, the National Board of Review’s FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AWARD, the Women Film Critics Circle’s JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD, and the African American Film Critics Association’s BEST PICTURE AWARD.  

Eisele’s original screenplay, HURRICANE SEASON, starring Forest Whitaker and Academy Award nominee, Taraji Henson, was a Blockbuster Exclusive release in 2009. 

In 2004, Eisele’s television movie for ESPN, “3” (The Dale Earnhardt Story), received the second highest rating for any cable movie that year.  Also in 2004, Eisele rewrote the movie RAY (uncredited) for director Taylor Hackford.  RAY received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, and won two Academy Awards.  

Eisele was Executive Producer of the Showtime series, RESURRECTION BLVD., guiding the show to its 2001 ALMA AWARD for Outstanding Television Series.  His Resurrection Blvd. teleplay, NINO DEL POLVO, received a 2002 WRITERS GUILD AWARD nomination, his third WGA nom since 1993.

His second WRITERS GUILD AWARD nomination (1995) came with the production of LILY IN WINTER, starring Natalie Cole (a USA Event Movie).  He also served as co-executive producer, and the film brought Eisele a 1996 PEN CENTER USA LITERARY AWARD nomination for best teleplay as well.  His 1993 Showtime Original Feature, LAST LIGHT, starred Kiefer Sutherland and Forest Whitaker, and garnered Eisele his first WRITERS GUILD AWARD nomination, as well as three CABLE-ACE AWARD nominations for the film.  Eisele was executive producer of LAST LIGHT and played the role of a death row lawyer in scenes with Whitaker and Sutherland.    

Earlier in his career, Eisele, a published poet, was teaching and writing plays when Michael Mann saw his ORDINARY HERO episode of CAGNEY & LACEY, winner of the 1986 HUMANITAS PRIZE and IMAGEN AWARD.  Mann hired Eisele as story editor for the critically acclaimed premiere season of CRIME STORY in 1986.  Eisele joined the CBS series, THE EQUALIZER, for the next two seasons (1987-89), rising to supervising producer.  Two of the EQUALIZER episodes he wrote drew Emmy nominations for their actors. 
Eisele lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Diana, a dancer and a teacher.  They have two children, Nick and Marissa, both of whom work in the entertainment industry. 



Jurnee Smollett is an award-winning actress and activist of rare talent and conviction.  She most recently  has been seen co-starring in the Emmy Award Winning series, “Friday Night Lights” in which she portrays the character, “Jess” alongside Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler.  

Smollett also was seen last season on CBS’  series, “The Defenders” where  she starred opposite Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell as “Lisa,” the young attorney who joins their firm.

Jurnee starred in “The Great Debaters” with Forest Whitaker and Denzel Washington, who also directed the drama.  In addition to receiving rave reviews, the film was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Picture and Jurnee won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a motion picture. Smollett made her breakthrough performance at the age of 11, starring in “Eve's Bayou” opposite Samuel L. Jackson for which she won the Broadcast Film Critics Award for Best Youth Performance and was cited by Interview Magazine as one of the five Hollywood stars to watch in the new millennium.  Other film credits include starring in "Roll Bounce," "Gridiron Gang," and "Beautiful Joe" with Sharon Stone as well as made-for-television films including the Wonderful World of Disney’s "Selma Lord Selma” and Showtime’s "Ruby's Bucket of Blood" opposite Angela Bassett. She recently guest starred in the season finale of “Grey’s Anatomy.”  Other guest starring appearances include roles on "House," "E.R.," "Strong Medicine," "NYPD Blue," and closed out the 2009 series of “Grey’s Anatomy” with a performance that received critical acclaim everywhere.

On television, Smollett has starred on the FOX series, "Wanda at Large" with Wanda Sykes and on the CBS sitcom, "Cosby" with Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad  for which she won  NAACP Image Awards in 2000 and 1999.  She began her television acting career at the age of four with a recurring role on "Full House," later reviving the character for a season of "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper." She followed by starring on the 1994-1995 ABC comedy "On Our Own" with her real life sister and four brothers. 

In addition to acting and singing, Smollett is an activist and the youngest board member of Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA), a nonprofit organization working in the U.S and South Africa to combat HIV/AIDS, advance human rights, and educate and empower children orphaned by AIDS as well as other at-risk youth.  Smollett has been involved with ANSA since the age of 11 and  in 2006, became ANSA's pioneer presenter for Positively Speaking, a program of the Los Angeles Unified District HIV/AIDS Prevention Unit that brings people infected or affected by the disease into middle and high school classes to tell their own stories and lead discussions.  Smollett has traveled to South Africa through her efforts with ANSA, where she has met with Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Tutu, and Zackie Achmat as well as people living with HIV/AIDS and children orphaned by the disease. 

She recently completed an official U.S. mission for the U.S. State Department in which she was sent to Botswana, Swaziland and South Africa to conduct workshops with women and youth about activism, empowerment and HIV/AIDS. She also recently joined the board of the Children’s Defense Fund at the invitation of longtime mentor, Marian Wright Edelman

                                                                                         DEIRDRE DIX-HUNT
Strategy Consultant, Marketing Specialist and Creative Producer/Director, who supplies content, produces, and directs marketing strategies, campaigns (viral and traditional) for Corporations, Health Care Outreach Programs, Entertainment Companies, Education Institutions and Non-profit organizations. . Exceptional network of high-level corporate, celebrity and philanthropic relationships.

Proven track record of merging entertainment with innovative marketing and branding expertise to effectively create, and implement multi-platform business strategies, delivering profitable results.

                                                                                         MICHAEL RYMER
A native of Melbourne, Australia, Michael Rymer studied directing at the University of Southern California where his short films earned him the Warner Communications Scholarship for Directing. After graduation, he wrote two plays before being commissioned by several Australian studios to write screenplays.  Rymer made his directorial debut with his screenplay Angel Baby, a tale of two schizophrenics who fall in love and try to live on their own.  The film, which stars John Lynch and Jacqueline MacKenzie, premiered at the 1996 Sundance Festival and went on to win seven Australian Film Institute Awards including Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Screenplay as well as Best Actor and Actress.  It also won four Australian Film Critics Circle Awards, and the Australian Human Rights award.  Rymer has directed several other films including Miramax’s In Too Deep starring Omar Epps, L.L. Cool J. and Nia Long and Warner Bros. Queen of the Damned starring Stuart Townsend and Aliya (the sequel to Interview with the Vampire).  Rymer has directed several television pilots picked up for a series run: Haunted starring Matthew Fox and Battlestar Galactica starring Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell.  He went on to direct over 30 hours of the hit show and was nominated for an Emmy for directing the series finale in 2009. Recently, he has directed episodes of FlashForward for ABC Television, and the pilot for Person’s Unknown for NBC Network. Rymer has also directed two experimental improvisational features Allie and Me, and Perfume with Jeff Goldblum, Paul Sorvino, Michelle Williams, Michelle Forbes, Michelle Monahan, Jared Harris and Rita Wilson and many others.

For a full schedule of screenings and events from the spring 2011 fest
Click Here.pdf


los angeles new wave


film festival

(Formerly The LA International Film Festival)


Spring 2011 opening night at the Grammy Museum-Fest photos



The la new wave international film fest is an IMDB Qualifying Festival. All Eligible films entered are granted an easy setup title page on IMDB.com